2016 Lenten Study now available for FREE download online

Copies of the 2016 Lenten Study are now available for FREE download in both A4 and A5 sizes. You may click on the following links to download or visit the LENTEN BIBLE STUDIES tab at the top of this website. Please note that the Study is also available as a printed book through a variety of sources. Copies can be bought  in Church House, from The Book Well in Belfast, and from leading cathedral bookshops (with a discount for 10 copies bought together).

2016 Lenten Study Guide: Reconciliation

Reconciliation is the theme for the sixth series of Lenten Bible studies offered to the Church by the Biblical Association for the Church of Ireland.

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Its introduction explains: ‘Both the need and the hope for reconciliation — within and between churches, between cultures and continents, rich and poor, male and female, liberal and conservative — has recently captured more and more of our attention. New leadership in major churches, (Francis in Rome, Justin Welby in Canterbury, and now Michael Curry in The Episcopal Church) has offered new inspiration and increased our hope. But the work of reconciliation has to be done at the grass roots. Without us it will not come about.’

The BACI team involved hails from both North and South, and includes William Olhausen. Linda Chambers, Barbara Bergin, Earl Storey, Paul Houston and Ginnie Kennerley. The five Bible Studies, are entitled:

  1. Power and Service
  2. Transcending Boundaries
  3. Reaching out to Others
  4. Taking down the Walls
  5. Do as you would be done by.

BACI chair William Olhausen says, ‘We have kept things very simple: each study has an introduction, a Bible text on reconciliation, some notes and some questions – questions prompting us to consider not only the needs for reconciliation in our lives, our communities and the Church, but also the practical steps God is calling us to take.’

The studies will be available from mid–January for free download from the BACI website http://www.bibliahibernica.wordpress.com and also in printed booklet form through leading Cathedral bookshops and Church House, Dublin, at €2.50 or £2.00 with discount for quantity.They will also be available at the formal launch of the Bible study series by BACI patrons the Archbishops of Dublin and Armagh in Church House, Dublin, in mid–January.

UPDATE: The formal launch by both Archbishops will take place on Tuesday 26th Jan at 12.40pm in Church House, Dublin 6. Copies of the booklet will be available there at an advantageous discount of 10% off each purchase. Please order copies to be collected there in good time from our treasurer, Barbara Bergin berginba@gmail.com or 56, Avondale Court, Blackrock. Co. Dublin. As this is RB week, collection by a neighbour might be arranged if you cannot attend yourself. Copies can be bought subsequently in Church House, from The Book Well in Belfast, and from leading cathedral bookshops, at £2.00 or €2.50 per copy, with a discount for 10 copies bought together.

​The studies will also be available for free download from this website from the January 26th.

Bishop Kenneth Kearon at the BACI AGM

Bishop of Limerick, the Rt Revd Kenneth Kearon, taking the chair for the Sep 25th AGM of the Biblical Association for the Church of Ireland (BACI), recalled that he had been present at the birth of BACI in Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin, when he had introduced the nascent association’s first Lenten Bible Study, on Creation.

In his address to the AGM, Bishop Kenneth reflected on his time as Secretary General of the Anglican Communion from 2004 to 2014 and the events with which he was involved during his tenure. During that time, Gene Robinson was consecrated as Bishop of New Hampshire. Bishop Kenneth worked closely with Archbishop Rowan Williams to undertake a four-fold programme to enable the Anglican Churches around the world to be ‘a Communion of Churches in Relationship’, taking into account the differing views and issues determined by their contexts. Other areas which the bishop reviewed included:

  1. The proposed Anglican Covenant  This is an attempt to put down in writing for the 21st century the conditions of our living together as Anglicans,  a statement of basic principles as we view them in our worldwide communion today.
  2. The Canon Law Project — The project asks what, in legal terms, the Anglican Churches share in common, noting that there are currently about 700 laws. These were reduced to 100 and the results published as ‘Principles of Canon Law’.
  3. A strengthening of the Instruments of Communion — This document defines the roles of the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Lambeth Conference, the Anglican Consultative Council, and the Primates’ Meeting.
  4. The Bible in the Life of the Church Project — This project has discerned a series of dichotomies in church life in relation to the Bible: pulpit and pew; process and outcome (the former determining the latter); popular and unpopular (that is, read and neglected passages in the Bible). The project is ongoing, and has issued a number of Bible studies linked to the Anglican Communion’s ‘Marks of Mission’, in working to explore how local churches and congregations actually use the Bible and to distil and develop the exploration of Anglican hermeneutics.

The Bishop noted that BACI had established and maintained close ties with Bible in the Life of the Church (BiLC) personnel and that BACI’s 2012 Lenten series on Economic Justice had been taken up by BiLC and circulated to the wider communion. The Lenten series for 2016 on Reconciliation is to be prepared in consultation with BiLC, using some of their material.

Major BACI event: Bishop Kenneth Kearon, Dr Brad Anderson

The AGM of the Biblical Association for the Church of Ireland — open to all — will be held in St Patrick’s Church, Greystones, on September 25th from 6.30pm.

The AGM Lecture — “Reading Old Testament Stories: Theological Challenges and Opportunities” — will be given by Dr Brad Anderson of Mater Dei, DCU, and Chair of the Irish Biblical Association. The AGM – with the governing theme of “BACI –The Way Forward” – will be chaired by the Right Reverend Bishop Kenneth Kearon, Church of Ireland Bishop of the United Dioceses of Limerick and Killaloe.

Substantial refreshments will be served from 6.30pm with the lecture at 7.30pm. Those attending will be invited to make a donation of €10 to cover expenses, which will entitle donors to vote at the AGM.

To ensure your place and to help caterers, please kindly confirm your intention to attend by emailing aamacfarlane283@gmail.com.

This event supports BACI’s purpose in serving as a ‘bridge’ between clerical and lay, academic and faith-based approaches to the Bible within the Church of Ireland and in conversation with ecumenical partners.

Date: 25 September at 6.30pm
Place: St Patrick’s Church, Church Road, Greystones

  • 6.30pm Welcome, registration and refreshments
  • 7.30pm Lecture by Dr Brad Anderson: “Reading Old Testament Stories — Theological Challenges and Opportunities”
  • 8.45pm Break
  • 9.00pm AGM –“BACI – the Way Forward” — chaired by Bishop Kenneth Kearon


Death of Judith Wilkinson, BACI Hon. Treasurer.

It is with great sadness that BACI marks the passing of Juidth Wilkinson on Saturday, 16 May. She was 60 years old.

Judith Wilkinson served as BACI’s honorary treasurer since our formation five years ago and was a great support to us in that capacity. With her knowledge of the market for Bible-related literature and her accounting skills, she was always generous with her advice and her time and willingly took on the task of keeping our financial affairs in order. We offer our condolences on her death after a long illness to her father Leslie Wilkinson, and our thanks to God for all that she gave us and the wider church, especially through her work as General Secretary of the National Bible Society of Ireland.

A new treasurer will be formally appointed at BACI’s AGM on September 25th after the Annual Lecture, to be given by Dr Brad Anderson at St Patrick’s Church. Greystones, at 7pm.

Fifth Lent Study Available


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BACI’s fifth Lenten Bible Study is now available for free download. The study offered for 2015 is on “Same-sex Issues and the Bible.”

The five weeks are:

Week 1. The Teaching of Jesus.
Week 2. Leviticus – the prohibitions of Chapters 18 and 20
Week 3. Genesis 1 and 2 – Implications from the Creation narratives
Week 4. Romans 1.18- 32 – Paul’s teaching on unnatural and depraved sexual activity
Week 5. 1 Cor.6.9-11. & Acts 10–11. Sin lists, condemnation and redemption

The A4 cover is here, the A3 here, and the B&W is available for A4 and A3 covers.

This study has received the following commendation from His Grace, the Archbishop of Dublin,

Having been invited to commend this volume produced by BACI for Lent 2015, I am willing and happy to do so. My hope and prayer are that the Studies contained within it will contribute to the enlargement of the attentive listening on which we are currently engaged across the Church of Ireland in the area of human sexuality in the context of Christian belief. Both the subject and its content have long aroused significant energy and vigorous argument on the part of many people. My hope and prayer would be that attentive listening might bear the fruit of respectful hearing.

–++Michael Jackson

Ecumenical Bible Week


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8-15 June 2014 is Ecumenical Bible Week. An impressive number of events will be held during this week in Dublin and its surroundings, and they can be seen on the poster and program, or below.

One of the speakers participating in this event is BACI chair, Rev. Dr. William Olhausen.

Bible Week May 14 Poster A3 v3B Final proof

Together in One Place 6pp DL v7B(final)

Lent 2014: Church and Culture–Available and to be Launched Shortly


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As recently announced in the Church of Ireland Gazette, BACI’s fourth Lent course, on the Church and Culture, is now available for free download. It is now available from the above page, or the A4 can be accessed here and the A5 here. The study has been specifically designed to promote thoughtful discussion at parish level of Christian attitudes to our surrounding culture, whatever our specific tradition within the Church of Ireland family.

Formal Launches

The study will be formally launched in both Dublin and Belfast.  On 16th January, the Lent 2014 study will be launched with receptions in Christ Church Cathedral Dublin (6.45pm) by the Dean, the Very Reverend Dermot Dunne. On  20th January it will be launched in the northern province in Belfast Cathedral (6pm) by one of BACI’s patrons, Archbishop Richard Clarke. Printed copies of the study will be available at both launches, and all interested are most warmly welcome to attend.

Printed copies will shortly be available for purchase as well.

(Belated) BACI STUDY DAY, September 7th 2013: ‘Bibles gather dust on shelves’



INTRODUCING a study day sponsored by the Biblical Association of the Church of Ireland, Dr William Olhausen said that BACI had been set up because of a sense that the Bible was too often gathering dust on shelves rather than being thoughtfully used. Lay people are increasingly well-educated but not in the exciting developments in biblical study. The conference was held in the Theological Institute, Dublin, on September 7th.

The speakers, Dr Ian Paul (formerly of St John’s Nottingham and now editor of Grove booklets) and Dr Andrew Rogers (of Roehampton University and the author of the well-known H+ course on biblical interpretation) were theologians and educators who have also been in leadership positions in various churches. They emphasised the challenges and opportunities of engaging with the Bible in meaningful and responsible ways. Explanation and interpretation is necessary to get the full meaning of Bible passages.  Jesus himself  explained the Scriptures to the disciples in Luke 24,v25-27. On another occasion (Luke chapter 10) he asked the question, ‘How do you read the commandments?’

Dr Ian Paul said that the reality is that we are all interpreters of the Bible, whether or not we acknowledge it explicitly. In fact interpretation is at the heart of the New Testament, at the heart of Christian faith, and at the heart of mission.

Dr Andrew Rogers spoke of the “virtues” needed for “making good sense of the Bible”: perseverance, confidence, honesty, faithfulness, humility, courage, openness, and community.

Both speakers gave lively and stimulating presentations to a full room. Participants included clergy from several parts of the country, students, lay readers and others interested in Bible study.

L to R are: Dr Ian Paul, Canon Dr. Ginnie Kennerley, Dr Andrew Rogers, and Rev. Dr. William Olhausen.

L to R are: Dr Ian Paul, Canon Dr. Ginnie Kennerley, Dr Andrew Rogers, and Rev. Dr. William Olhausen.

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2014 BACI Lent Course Announced


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For Lent 2014 BACI is offering a themed biblical study which looks at the relationship the church and culture. Like the previous three years’ studies, this study has five weeks which use Old and New Testament readings. The material will shortly be available on this website.  In the meantime, a sample cover and the introduction are available here or in the Lent 2014 tab above.



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